I’m kicking off 2016 by interviewing a fellow Michigan writer, Joselyn Vaughn. A writer of contemporary romance, I’m thrilled to know someone with a similar passion. Here she is!
Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing your knowledge and advice with the rest of the world (at least with the small portion of it that follows my blog). Please, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a stay at home mom with three kids, a neurotic dog, and a husband who will repair my treadmill at a moment’s notice. (He knows I need it for my sanity.) When not cleaning up or chasing after the aforementioned, I like to run, write, and sew, sometimes with successful results.
Why did you start writing?
I used to write little stories while I was waiting for church to start. My mother insisted on being the first one to sit down on Sunday morning, although we could never beat my Aunt Ruth. My first attempt to write a novel was about ten years ago.
How did you start writing?
The idea for that first novel came out of my job as a librarian. After helping several patrons set up accounts on matchmaking sites, a coworker and I wondered if we should start our own service. The idea for my first novel grew out of that. I also wanted to started a writing group as a program for the library. From that group, I connected with WS Gager, Tess Grant, and JQ Rose who have become my most trusted critique partners.
How did you select your genre?
I like happy endings. If I’m going to spend a lot of time with these characters, I hope they are working to make their lives better.
What is your writing day like?
I wish it was more organized, however, the aforementioned children and dog take precedence over my time. On the days when they are all at school (the children, not the dog – although if that was an option…) I try to have my butt in the chair and work on my manuscripts, either on the rough drafts or revising with suggestions from my critique group.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)?
My first draft is handwritten and completely seat of my pants. I rarely know where the story is going more than a chapter or two ahead of where I am writing. Once that draft is typed, I put it in Scrivener and then things get more organized. I print out the draft and revise the scenes.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?”
Some more my characters are more mature than the traditional romance heroes and heroines. They have a lot of history to explain their motives and goals. I’ve had a couple bold heroines and told me what they wanted to do, but didn’t tell me why until a hundred-fifty pages into the rough draft. The most recent is Penny who decided that getting married was the perfect solution to her problem on page one. On page one hundred-fifty, she revealed that her problem was a rehabilitating disease.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
I don’t. I rarely know anything about the characters unless they’ve appeared in another book in the series.
What does your work space/office look like?
I feel like it’s an overcrowded mess. I have an old desk that my mother used as her sewing table. I don’t know where it came from before that, but I’m pretty sure it’s old. The surface is usually covered with my laptop, a variety of notebooks, binders, pens, and some kids toys. My desk faces the back yard so I can watch the kids and dog frolick in our usually muddy back yard.
What is your go-to snack when writing?
Probably salted almonds. (Or almost any variety of chocolate, although I’m trying to curb that one.)
My favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice. I love the witty humor and, of course, the romance. The characters recognize the qualities in the others that best complement them.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
One of my favorite writing books is the Gotham Writers Workshop Writing Fiction. It is great book for beginners. It gives wonderful overviews for the basic elements of a novel and gives fantastic examples.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for hosting me. I hope the new year brings many good things.
Thank you, you too!
You can read more about Joselyn on her blog – click here!